Time Square, New York - World's Most Expensive Cities for Expats in 2023 Time Square, New York - World's Most Expensive Cities for Expats in 2023


Exploring the World's Most Expensive Cities for Expats in 2023.

Singapore, United States
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More and more people are looking for possibilities to live and work overseas as expatriates. The most costly places in the world for expatriates are determined annually by thorough investigations carried out by organisations like ECA International. These rankings offer insightful information about the financial environment and highlight the places that require a substantial financial commitment.

Singapore has risen into the top five due to increasing rates, while New York has surpassed Hong Kong as the most costly city for ex-pats to reside in. 

New York topped the ECA Worldwide Cost of Living Rankings for 2023 primarily because of rising living expenses and inflation, while Geneva and London held onto their third and fourth-place positions, respectively.

Due to lower inflation rates than other regions, Asian cities have generally been falling down the rankings, and Singapore's rise from 13th to the top five places reflects this tendency. Meanwhile, it should be noted that Singapore is also among the nations offering a smooth adjustment to ex-pats.

According to Lee Quane, regional director for ECA International in Asia, Singapore's growth is a result of sharp rises in lodging expenses. The increase in the supply of housing has outpaced the rise in demand for rental dwellings, which is partly attributable to the earlier easing of Covid-19 limits in comparison to other significant areas in the region.

A person holding a bill in the super market - World's Most Expensive Cities for Expats in 2023

With a 95-spot increase to 108th place, Istanbul had the most significant improvement in the rankings. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's economic policies, which have caused an 80% increase in costs, are mostly to blame for this price spike.

The study also discovered:

  • With the surge of Russian expatriates, Dubai rents increased by approximately one-third, moving the city up to the 12th spot.
  • The bulk of European cities saw their rankings climb. However, because of their weak currencies, the towns of Norway and Sweden fell behind, and the cities of France lagged behind those of the rest of the EU due to lower inflation rates.
  • Chinese cities dropped in the rankings as a result of the effects of a depreciating currency and lower inflation rates than in other nations.
  • Inflation and a strong currency drove up rankings for all US cities, with San Francisco cracking the top 10.

In order to evaluate 207 cities in 120 countries and territories worldwide, ECA International examines the cost of consumer goods and services while taking into account rental rates in areas that ex-pats frequently occupy.

The 20 Most Expensive Cities Worldwide

Here are the top 20 most expensive cities for ex-pats to live in, along with their rankings from the previous year (2022):

  • New York, USA (Ranking in 2022: 2)
  • Hong Kong, China (1)
  • Geneva, Switzerland (3)
  • London, UK (4)
  • Singapore (13)
  • Zurich, Switzerland (7)
  • San Francisco, USA (11)
  • Tel Aviv, Israel (6)
  • Seoul, South Korea (10)
  • Tokyo, Japan (5)
  • Bern, Switzerland (6)
  • Dubai, UAE (23)
  • Shanghai, China (8)
  • Guangzhou, China (9)
  • Los Angeles, USA (21)
  • Shenzhen, China (12)
  • Beijing, China (14)
  • Copenhagen, Denmark (18)
  • Abu Dhabi, UAE (22)
  • Chicago, USA (25)


The list of the world's most costly cities for ex-pats in 2023 demonstrates the fluctuating nature of global living expenses. With Singapore making a significant increase and New York taking the top rank, expatriates must be well-informed and equipped to handle the financial difficulties that come with living in these exciting and in-demand locations.


Are the rankings subject to change?

The rankings may alter in succeeding years due to shifting economic conditions, changing currency values, and other factors affecting the cost of living.

How does ECA International determine the rankings?

To assess cities globally, ECA International examines the cost of consumer goods and services, taking into account rental rates in neighbourhoods that ex-pats frequently occupy.


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